Höweler Yoon's frequent collaborator Parallel Development allows Light Helix to display an array of colors.
Threading through the stair's 6-foot-wide, six-story-high opening, the light fixture will be activated by movement or temperature sensors.
Anchored to the bottom of Boston Harbor, Light Drift will move in and out of a grid according to changes in tides. The trick is to ensure the cables don't get tangled.
Jellyfishlike pods will house solarpowered LED lights in a watertight, translucent compartment. Because of LEDs' low voltage needs, their energy efficiency is remarkable. "If the solar panel charges for two days in full sunlight, it can operate for three months of constant lighting at night," says Yoon. The LED is expected to last for 100,000 hours.